MakerBot’s next goal: enabling 3-D printer-based businesses


MakerBot Industries was already arguably the best known name in the emerging home 3-D printer market with its Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic printers. But the launch of the Replicator printer in January at CES exceeded MakerBot’s best projections and it’s prompting CEO Bre Pettis to imagine even more possibilities with 3-D printing.

Pettis told me in an interview that Brooklyn-based MakerBot (see disclosure below) was hoping to double sales of the Thing-O-Matic, which was first introduced in Sept. 2010. But sales of Replicator have already quadrupled Thing-O-Matic in the last eight months and MakerBot has now almost doubled the total number of printers it has sold with Replicator. Prior to the latest model, MakerBot had sold about 7,500 units. Now, it’s up to more than 13,000 printers sold, Pettis said.

Much of the success boils down to Replicator’s price and ease of use. The tabletop device starts at $1,749 or $1,999…

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